The 2 Most Important Numbers Every Chiropractor Needs To Know

Todd Brown
May 07, 2008
Written by Todd Brown
Imagine, for a moment, being able to look into a crystal ball and determine, with relative accuracy, the likelihood of whether your practice was going to dominate your geographic area and niche or fall prey to competition. I’m sure you’d agree, that would be a pretty valuable crystal ball.  Well, even though no such ball exists, we do have a set of simple, yet rarely understood tools, that give us a similar level of foresight into your practice’s future.

toddTwo of your key practice metrics, used in combination, are an incredible indication of how well your practice is going to do in the future, how competitive you can really be in your marketplace, and what you can expect out of your practice in terms of financial growth. Once you understand these two metrics, how they work together, and what actions you can take to impact them, growing a dominating chiropractic practice begins relatively simple.

What are the two practice metrics I’m referring too? I’m glad you asked.  When combined, your cost to acquire a new patient and the lifetime value of the average active patient tell us almost everything we need to know about your practice.  Before I explain why, let’s lay out some simple definitions of these two critical numbers.

The cost to acquire a new patient is the average dollar amount you invest to get one new patient.  For instance, if you invest $2,000 on marketing in a single month and end the month with 10 new patients, your cost of acquisition is $200 per new patient.  Your lifetime patient value, arguably the most important number in any chiropractic practice, is the average dollar value of an average patient over the life of their care with you.  To calculate this metric for a given period of time, simply take the total amount of revenue your practice generated during the time period and divide it by the total number of patients you had from the beginning of the time period.  The number you end up with is what’s known as the lifetime value of a patient.

The chiropractor who calculates and reviews these two metrics on a regular basis has already given themselves an advantage over other doctors, even if nothing else changes.  Why? Well, for one, when used together, these metrics tell us exactly how well your marketing dollars are working.  Without knowing and understanding these two metrics a chiropractor has no way of knowing whether they should be spending less or more to acquire a new patient.  For instance, is a cost of $500 to acquire a single new patient good or bad? Well, it all depends.  If the average patient is worth $700 to your practice (avg. lifetime patient value), $500 acquisition cost isn’t very good.  However, if the average patient is worth $3,000, $500 acquisition cost is great.  In fact, if your average patient is worth $3,000, you should be willing to spend $500 to acquire a new patient as often as possible.  However, if a patient is worth just $500 – looking into the future - you could see how you would quickly go cash-flow negative continuing with those kind of acquisition costs.

Hence, our crystal ball reference.

But, believe it or not, that’s not even what makes this combination of metrics worthy of being referenced as the two most important numbers in your practice.  What does?  It’s simple. The doctor who has the lowest acquisition costs with the highest lifetime patient value is the one who has the greatest competitive advantage.  With a focus on impacting these two numbers, you not only can predict your practice future, you can control it.

Todd Brown, CEO of More Chiro Patients, Inc., is the creator of the Free Chiropractic Marketing Video entitled, “The Ultimate Patient Attraction System”. To instantly get your copy, visit



Add comment

Security code

Subscription Centre

New Subscription
Already a Subscriber
Customer Service
View Digital Magazine Renew

Most Popular

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. To find out more, read our Privacy Policy.